The Port Qasim Power Project in Pakistan is a 1,320 MW supercritical coal power plant, comprising of two 660 MW plants. It is expected to generate an average annual output of 9,504 GWh. It was build on 204 acres at Port Qasim, 37 kilometers east of Karachi in Sindh Province. The agreements for the project’s implementation, power purchase, land lease and port services were signed during President Xi’s visit to Pakistan in April 2015. The project is part of a group of 14 energy projects which fall under the fast-tracked “Early Harvest” program of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) of the Belt and Road Initiative.
Port Qasim Power Project
Port Qasim, Sindh Province, Pakistan
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)
Unit-I was inaugurated in November 2017; Unit-II was completed in June 2018.
Start of Construction
Projected Total Project Costs
USD 2.09 billion
The estimated annual coal consumption for the plants will be 4.66 – 5,20 million tons, and enough annual power for an estimated 3-4 million households will be generated. The coal for the power plant is supposed to come from Indonesia, South Africa and Australia. The project adopted supercritical thermal technology. A 180km-long, 500kV AC transmission line transmits the power generated at the Port Qasim power plant to the Matiari 500kV substation, which further feeds the power to the national grid.
The Government of Pakistan purchases electricity from the plants for thirty years at a cost of 8.12 US cents per unit.
Port Qasim Energy Holding, a firm jointly financed by Qatar’s Al-Mirqab Capital and China’s Power Construction Corporation, a subsidiary of Sinohydro Resources Limited, is the operator of Port Qasim Power Plant.
Al-Mirqab Capital owns a 49% stake in the project, and Power Construction Corporation owns a 51% stake in the project. The individual companies invested USD 521 million, while the Export-Import Bank of China lent those companies the remaining USD 1.56 billion required for construction. The project also involves Sinosure insurance fee of 7 per cent on the total debt servicing. Financial closure was achieved in December 2015.
Harbin Electric is supplying the boilers, while Dongfang Electric Corporation is supplying the generators under a contract awarded in May 2015. Sinohydro Harbour was awarded the engineering, procurement and construction contract for the coal unloading jetty and channel. CCCC Second Harbor Consultants, a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company Ltd. was awarded the management consulting (supervision) services contract for the coal unloading jetty. Power China engaged SEPCO III Electric Power Construction (SEPCO III) and Hebei Electric Power Design and Research Institute (HBED) for site selection and site survey.
Additional Project Information
According to Yan Zhiyong, chairman of the Power Construction Corporation of China the environmental protection standards that the Port Qasim plant adopted are higher than that of the European Union and the World Bank. Seawater is the source of make-up water for the power plant. The project is estimated to create more than 2,000 jobs.